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Cheating at Poker

Online Poker Cheating - Poker Cheats

"The man who knows how will always have a job.
The man who also knows why will always be his boss."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you stumbled onto this page looking for ways to cheat at poker, either get a life or resolve yourself to mediocrity or failure. While there are exceptions, the vast majority of cheaters are losers, desperately looking for some way to win (or lose less) that involves something other than doing a good, skillful job.

Methods of cheating are mostly self-evident, which of course is how most dim-bulb cheaters blunder onto these tactics in the first place. One thing winning poker players need to do is be ever vigilant in spotting and helping to stamp out cheaters. Fortunately this is one place where the interests of honest winning players directly coincide with those of the casino. Cheaters try to steal our money, and while that is of concern to individual players, corporate/casino interests become fanatical when their money is being stolen from them.

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When discussing cheating, the first thing to do is make a distinction between effective cheating, minor cheating and ineffective cheating. While the vast majority of cheaters accomplish little or fail (or even lose when trying to cheat), effective cheaters are the real enemy. Not coincidentally, ineffective and minor cheating are easier to detect.

Casino ring game poker has more cheating than casino tournament poker, both because random seating limits collusion somewhat, but also because every ring game hand offers an opportunity to directly profit via some sleazy action. Common forms of casino ring game cheating include:
splashing/shorting pots or snaring extra chips that you are not entitled to
rubbernecking to look at opponents' cards
avoiding time collection or other casino fees
crudely marking cards, usually aces or jokers
deliberately breaking game rules to gain an advantage

Sophisticated collusion is many degrees more effective than above, and considerably harder to detect. Fortunately, most sophisticated cheaters are so evil they seldom can "hold down the job" of cheating effectively. They don't know how to play nicely with others, even other scum.

One note, "angling" or "shooting angles" is by definition not cheating. Angles are attempts to take advantage of the literal rules in a way they weren't intended. Angling only becomes cheating when it becomes a rule violation, as in repeatedly shooting the same angle, like miscalling the value of a hand. Casinos generally have rules that say something like miscalling a hand will not get a hand killed, but repeated miscalling of hands could get your hand killed or you ejected from the casino.

As you can see, the listed examples are generally minor (something that might get a cheater one bet or even just a single chip), but they go on all the time. Honest players need to be ever vigilant in policing their games. Cheaters are just crooks, and the reality is that players are normally in the role of the police. The casino is more like the judge/jury/executioner.

Poker CheatsCasino tournament cheating is considerably more difficult if only because, quite frankly, most cheaters are just too dumb to know how to cheat in their own interest. By far the most common tournament cheating tactic is to softplay a friend or partner. Softplaying an opponent when it is to your advantage can be perfectly legitimate, like when you are a chip leader and are one out of the money -- you might choose to fold a strong hand before the showdown and not bust an opponent because you are making a fortune stealing blinds while the smaller stacks play timidly.

Softplaying is a difficult thing to deal with because often there is no direct financial relationship between the two people involved. Players of the same ethnic minority tend to run in the same small circles, even if they aren't all friends (and certainly not all partners). Unfortunately, at lower buy-in tournaments, it is fairly common to see two players of the same ethnicity show "respect" to each other by not being aggressive with each other. This is cheating, and should be reported to the tournament director -- which in this case normally causes the behavior to cease, since the players don't have a common financial interest.

This obviously doesn't have to be ethnic in nature. Every single tournament that takes place likely has at least one hand where a person doesn't raise a friend's blind with a marginal hand, choosing to just quietly fold instead. While this isn't cheating, it does show that there is a fine line between deliberate softplay and marginal decision-making.

Collusion is a much more rare form of cheating simply because cheaters are by definition dishonest, and collusion (over any significant period of time) requires trust and an honest accounting of profits. Degenerate losers don't make good, trusting, trustable, longterm partners.

When in a casino, reporting suspicious behavior to floor personnel is a responsibility of every honest player who wants to maximize their win. True, an exception like not reporting a blithering idiot losing rack after rack who is doing some trivial bit of cheating might be a better choice for your bottom line, but in general making games honest is a key financial goal of winning players.

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